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An Alternative National Anthem
By Leonard Cohen (1934-2016) & Sharon Robinson
© 1988 CBS Records, Inc.

   Everybody knows the dice are loaded.
Everybody rolls with their fingers crossed.
   Everybody knows the war is over.
Everybody knows the good guys lost.
   Everybody knows the fight was fixed.
The poor stay poor, the rich get rich.
   That's how it goes.
Everybody knows.

   Everybody knows that the boat is leaking.
Everybody knows that the captain lied.
   Everybody got this broken feeling
Like their father or their dog just died.
   Everybody talking to their pockets.
Everybody wants a box of chocolates
   And a long stem rose.
Everybody knows.

   Everybody knows that you love me, baby.
Everybody knows you really do.
   Everybody knows that you've been faithful,
Give or take a time or two.
   Everybody knows you've been discreet
But there were so many people you just had to meet
   Without your clothes.
Everybody knows.

   Everybody knows that it's now or never.
Everybody knows that it's me or you.
   And everybody knows that you live forever
When you've done a line or two.
   Everybody knows the deal is rotten
Old Black Joe's still pickin' cotton
   For your ribbons and bows
And everybody knows.

   Everybody knows that the plague is coming.
Everybody knows that it's moving fast.
   Everybody knows that the naked man & woman —
Just a shining artifact of the past.
   Everybody knows the scene is dead
But there's gonna be a meter on your bed
   That will disclose
What everybody knows.

   And everybody knows that you're in trouble.
Everybody knows what you've been through
   From the bloody cross on top of Calvary
To the beach at Malibu.
   Everybody knows it's coming apart.
Take one last look at this Sacred Heart
   Before it blows.
And everybody knows.

Everybody knows. Everybody knows.
   That's how it goes. Everybody knows.


I hope you understand I just had to go back to the island.
Leon Russell, 1942-2016

"The most painful state of being is remembering the future, particularly the one you'll never have." Kierkegaard

Pitchforks, torches, mensches, tar & feathers
Barbwire by Andrew Quarantino Barbáno
Expanded from the Sparks Tribune 11-3-2021 / Updated 11-4 & 11-9-2021 GMT / Expansions in blue

BREAKING NEWS: Am I psychic or what? The following column, which I sent to the newspaper on Monday, Nov. 1, accurately predicted that someone would want to give a vacant Nevada Senate seat to a seat-warmer. Faith & begorrah, Washoe County Commission Chairman Bob Lucey advocated exactly that on TV-4/TV-11 the very next day, Tuesday, Nov. 2, in an interview with reporter Ben Margiott.

Mr. Lucey said he favors a "placeholder until the 2022 election" as Washoe County's next state senator. Huh? A placeholder is somebody who takes your place in line to get concert tickets.

This isn't a buffet line and Nevada doesn't need a placeholder. We need a senator. A placeholder who has sworn not to seek election has no accountability to the public for the next year and will never have to face the voters. The new senator will have to hit the ground running not only at the imminent special session but also by serving on important interim committees which will require participation in, and reporting to, the 2023 legislative session.

It is a sophistry upon the public to assert that whomever is chosen must commit to not seek election to a full term next year. That's a constitutional right and constitutional rights cannot be waived just to become a placeholder. It's rather morally obtuse to promise to waive a constitutional right when you can't be legally bound by the promise anyway.

Placeholders need not apply. Now to my Monday prediction and more important matters facing 10 public officials, from today's Sparks Tribune:

Moonhowlers on Steroids

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The Dean's List

   The Dean of Reno Bloggers could very well be Andrew Barbano, self-described "fighter of public demons," who started putting his "Barbwire" columns online in 1996 and now runs 10 sites.

RENO NEWS & REVIEW, 11-9-2006

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If you'd like to see Assemblyman Jim Wheeler controlling 10 percent of the Nevada State Senate for the next dozen years, your fondest dreams are a major step closer to coming true. (OK, so it's not quite 10 percent, just 9.52381, two senators out of 21. But hey, we're talking government where rounding off is an art form.)

Mr. Wheeler, R-Douglas/Lyon/Storey, gained international infamy in 2013 by stating he'd vote for slavery if his constituents wanted him to do so. He's now running for state senate.

He said he was just kidding when he found that his remarks to a small Storey County gathering went viral on YouTube.

Many, including Republican Gov. Brian Sandoval, apparently didn't get the joke. Stephen Colbert and a whole lotta national media certainly found a lot of material with that new installment in a long line of dubious Silver State public relations coups.

Didn't hurt Jim politically. He ran unopposed in 2016 and got elected head of the Assembly Republican Caucus for the 2017 legislative session.

The Alabaster Bastion which he calls home has always been quite forgiving of political anachronisms.

Former Nevada Assembly Speaker and State Senator Lawrence "Jake" Jacobsen (1921-2006), R-Gardnerville, had a real talent for saying the wrong thing.

In 1980, when asked by a visiting delegation from Africa about why there were so few black people in northern Nevada, Jake matter-of-factly stated "it's too cold for them up here."

Nevada's greatest lawmaker, African-American Sen. Joe Neal, D-North Las Vegas, was quite forgiving. My friend Joe (1935-2020) was a mensch with a great sense of humor and irony.

"I like Jake," he said. But that didn't stop Joe from lampooning him in the 1981 "Third House" lawmakers' roast. (I was there and sat near Jake. He smiled and laughed and took the barbs like a gentleman.)

Jake was a nice guy, just a man out of his time. He had no malice in him. Can't say the same for Mr. Wheeler.

Republican Sen. James Settelmeyer, who now holds the seat in the current version of Jake's district, is term limited. Wheeler has announced his candidacy for it .

But one seat's not enough. He also has designs on controlling the seat next door. He has already found a MAGA moonhowler to run and also has an ante into the current round of replacement roulette.

Term-limited Sen. Ben Kieckhefer. R-Washoe/Carson, just resigned to accept a seat on the Nevada Gaming Commission. The Carson City Board of Supervisors and the Washoe County Commission will caucus to name a successor who will hold the seat through next year's general election.

Assemblymember Lisa Krasner, R-Reno, announced for the senate before Kieckhefer resigned.

Wheeler's like another flaming racist, Democratic President Andrew Jackson. (Why-oh-why did the only presidents named Andrew have to be such moonhowlers?)

Jackson, like his biggest fan Donald Trump, made everything personal. He destroyed the Bank of the United States, which crippled the U.S. economy for decades afterward, because the bank had once refused him a loan for his slave plantation.

Wheeler was flamingly miffed when Assemblymember Dr. Robin Titus, R-Churchill/Lyon, beat him for minority leader in this year's session. (She will run against him for senate.)

UPDATE: 2:08 P.M. PST 9 NOV. 2021— Wheeler's boy wins 4-1. Only Commissioner Jeanne Herman, who supported Melissa Clement, went against the grain in the first balloting. Commissioners Lucey, Hartung, Jung and Hill supported Don Tatro, son of Mr. Wheeler's longtime legislative secretary. The final vote was unanimous for Mr. Tatro. Because state law makes Washoe's vote pre-eminent based on population, Mr. Tatro can now start calling himself senator. Cowabunga.

Mrs. Krasner supported Dr. Titus so Mr. Wheeler wants his revenge. His MAGA moonhowler is apparently so unqualified that she did not dare apply to fill out the remainder of Kieckhefer's term. So Wheeler (I am not making this up) had the son of his longtime legislative secretary apply.

The lucky 13 applicants will be interviewed by the Carson pols on November 4 and the Washoeites on Nov. 9. (Contact info below.) They will meet jointly to select a senator on Nov. 10. (Kieckhefer's replacement must be of the same party under state law.)

Mrs. Krasner's most likely competition is a surprise, long-retired three-term (1974-1980) Assemblymember Bob Weise, R-Washoe Valley, who served as minority leader in his time. Bob and his wife, the former Cathy Jo Valenta (formerly a lawyer with the Legislative Counsel Bureau), are great Nevadans. But this is not their time.

One trap I hope the 10 pols don't fall into is that of the caretaker, someone who swears that she or he will not seek election to the seat next year. [[UPDATE: EXACTLY THAT HAS HAPPENED.]]

Whomever they choose will not only serve in the upcoming special session on reapportionment, but also on important interim legislative study committees.

Mrs. Krasner is the only applicant who knows the territory after three terms in the lower house. She holds a law degree, teaches at Truckee Meadows Community College, and is the mother of two college age sons (one at UNR, the other at her alma mater, UCLA). She married a candidate for sainthood. Dr. Charles Krasner is an infectious disease specialist in this time of plague.

Mrs. Krasner's record is one of strong principle with a bi-partisan approach. In 2019, with Sen. Patricia Spearman, D-North Las Vegas, she co-sponsored three bills, now state law, protecting womens' rights in the areas of domestic violence, rape and sex trafficking.

In her freshman session in 2017, she sponsored Assembly Bill 145 which extended from 10 years to 20 (from the time a child turns 18), that someone sexually abused as a minor may sue for damages. She garnered national attention for her work and Congress passed a similar law shortly thereafter. Legendary human rights attorney Gloria Allred flew to Nevada to support the legislation.

Mrs. Krasner's bill was co-sponsored by 16 colleagues of both parties, including Ben Kieckhefer and (drum roll, please...) Jim Wheeler hisself before he got so mad.

You will find a link to the Carson government website containing the applications of all 13 hopefuls with the expanded web edition of this column at

Take the time to review, then contact your representatives. This is important.

If Wheeler prevails now and in 2022, he becomes scarily powerful for the next 13 years.

The High Desert Outback of the American Dream is infamous enough.

Take care of each other and be careful out there.

¡ se puede!

Be well. Raise hell. / Esté bien. Haga infierno. (Pardon my Spanglish.)
être bien, élever l'enfer (Pardon my French.)
Stammi bene. Scatenare l'inferno. (And Italian.)

Andrew Quarantino Barbano is a 52-year Nevadan and editor of,, BallotBoxing.US,,, and among others. He is a longtime member of the Reno-Sparks NAACP. As always, his comments are entirely his own. Assemblymember Krasner is also a member of the Reno-Sparks NAACP. Barbwire by Barbano has originated in the Sparks Tribune since 1988. E-mail <

Web Xtras & Smoking Guns—>


CARSON CITY MAYOR AND SUPERVISORS (Mayor Lori Bagwell), (Stacey Giomi), (Stan Jones), (Lisa Schuette), (Maurice White),

Carson City Hall / 201 N. Carson Street, Suite 2
Carson City, NV 89701
(775) 887-2100 / Fax (775) 887-2286

From the Carson City Nevada Appeal 11-1-2021

The meeting will start at 8:30 a.m. in the Robert “Bob” Crowell Board Room at the Community Center on 851 E. William St., but interviews for the District 16 candidate are slated for 12:30 p.m.

Residents may attend in-person with facial coverings, or tune in online through the “In Progress” link at To listen by phone, call +1-408-418-9388 with meeting number 2480 101 1015.

Public comment will be accepted in-person or via telephone at the beginning and the end of the meeting. To submit public comment in advance of the meeting, email by 3 p.m. the day before the meeting. (Full Story)

WASHOE COUNTY COMMISSION (Kitty Jung), (Vaughn Hartung), (Jeanne Herman), (Alexis Hill), (Bob Lucey),

1001 E. 9th STREET
RENO, NV 89512
(775) 328-2003 / Fax (775) 328-2037

UPDATE: 2:08 P.M. PST 9 NOV. 2021— Wheeler's boy wins 4-1. Only Commissioner Jeanne Herman, who supported Melissa Clement, went against the grain in the first balloting. Commissioners Lucey, Hartung, Jung and Hill supported Don Tatro, son of Mr. Wheeler's longtime legislative secretary. The final vote was unanimous for Mr. Tatro. Because state law makes Washoe's vote pre-eminent based on population, Mr. Tatro can now start calling himself senator. Cowabunga.


UPDATE: The Washoe County Commission will interview candidates beginning no earlier than 1:00 p.m. PST on November 9. Watch live here.


UPDATE: The Nov. 10 joint Washoe/Carson session to appoint the new senator will be held online. Here's the agenda and Zoom link. It begins at 1:00 p.m. PST.


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$75 dead or alive: Still crazy after all these years
A mass murderer becomes famous on TV a century later

How come nobody noticed 'til now?
Barbwire by Andrew Barbáno
/ Expanded from the 2-21-2018 Sparks Tribune

Triangle Shirtwaist Factory owners Max Blank and Isaac Harris. Is not Mr. Harris eerily familiar to television junkies?

From the Emmy-winning opening slate of the blockbuster "Cheers" television series. Combined with its "Frasier" spinoff, it lasted 20 years.
The "shirtwaist kings" immigrated from Russia and made a fortune manufacturing "Gibson Girl"-style blouses. (Photo, "The American Experience"/PBS)
The Emmy-winning opening slate of the "Cheers" television series before the "slate" of creators is superimposed. Looks like Mr. Harris' dead ringer (at left) is having a bloody good time.

"Who ya gonna believe, me or your own eyes?" Chico Marx disguised as Groucho Marx in "Duck Soup" (1933)
Back to the story of the 1911 Triangle Shirtwaist holocaust

Triangle tragedy recalled as requiem
"The Fire in My Mouth," a new oratorio by Pulitzer honoree Julia Wolfe, premiered with the New York Philharmonic Jan. 24

By Michael Cooper / The New York Times 1-23-2019

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Copyright © 1982-2021 Andrew Barbano

Andrew Barbano is a 52-year Nevadan, editor of and; and former chair of the City of Reno's Citizens Cable Compliance Committee. He is the executive producer of Nevada's annual César Chávez Day celebration and a longtime member of the Reno-Sparks NAACP. As always, his opinions are strictly his own. E-mail

Barbwire by Barbano moved to Nevada's Daily Sparks Tribune on Aug. 12, 1988, and has originated in them parts ever since.
Whom to blame: How a hall-of-famer's hunch birthed the Barbwire in August of 1987
Tempus fugit.

Betty J. Barbano
2-7-1941 / 12-27-2005

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